A Grandchild’s View of Divorce

To learn more about “How Grandparents Can Help in Divorce,” we interviewed a number of children of different ages concerning their feelings about the subject. This article offers you a glimpse of how they view their grandparents’ roles, and importance, when their parents divorce. What the children feel and say, can be used as a roadmap for grandparents involved in divorce situations to find their way to take positive action to help and to facilitate healing in family members.

 Children’s Views

“I try to remember that my parents and grandparents will always love me no matter what happens. But it’s a sad tragedy when parents get divorced, especially for us children. We love our parents but our parents don’t love each other anymore. Since I come from both of them what does that mean I am? They don’t want to be with each other. My sister and I are the thing that connects them. If we weren’t living they wouldn’t have to talk to each other anymore. I love my parents, and I know they love me, but I am also mad at them for getting divorced so I make trouble sometimes. But it’s different with my grandparents. They are together and I love them and am important to them. So I am good for them. They are older and I don’t want to hurt them, so I never make trouble for them. I know they care for me and my parents. I feel safe when I am with them and know I can always live with them.

Need for Grandparents

It’s very important for me to be able to talk with my grandparents about my feelings. Also for my grandparents to discuss things with me, especially what is going to happen in the future. When my parents divorced, I became frightened. My grandparents reassured me that the whole world wasn’t falling apart and that I would survive.

Grandparents need to be positive

If my grandparents criticize my parent who is their own child, it’s O.K. But they shouldn’t criticize my other parent, especially to me, because it makes me upset. I would rather not hear about the differences the grown-ups have. On the other hand, if something terrible is happening I want to be able to call my grandparents for help, but only when it’s serious. For example, I live with my mother. One night she came back late without calling me. So I called my grandparents. They came right over. My mother came too. She said there was a mix-up. She thought my father was going to pick me up. My father thought that he was going to pick me up the next day. If people make mistakes they are supposed to be learned from. My grandparents criticized my parents and it made me more upset. Grandparents should help parents instead of criticizing them. What good does criticizing do?

Grandparents should give advice

One thing grandparents can do is to give advice to the kind of person a divorced parent goes out with on a date. Parents don’t realize that children are frightened when their parents are divorced and go out with new people. That new person can be the new stepparent and kids can get scared, especially if they don’t like the new person. And then they have to make believe they like the person or their parent will get upset. And more so if the parent likes the new person a lot.

Don’t put kids in the middle

It’s important to me that my grandparents treat both of my parents the same. This may be hard because one parent may be my grandparent’s child but it makes me upset if my grandparents are against one of my parents.

Be there for the grandchild

My grandparents will always love, protect and encourage me. I wish my parents would be together but sometimes things can’t happen the way I want so I have to make the best of it…and being close to my grandparents is part of making the best of it.

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